MacRobertson Air Race 1934

While I am waiting for the funding for MAX III I'll make a brief jump into history and see how MAX would have succeeded in the famous MacRobertson AIR RACE of 1934.


Dh 88 Comet was well represented in the race;


Trip was 18 182 km or 11 300 miles with 5 compulsory stops at Baghdad, Allahabad, Singapore, Darwin and Charleville, Queensland. Start was at Mildenhall England and goal was to reach Melbourne Australia as soon as possible.

Race was very heavy since of 20 planes only 9 reached the in due time. 11 were disqualified or destroyed.

First leg from Mildenhall to Baghdad is 2530 miles and Dh Comet Black Magic reached there in 12 h 40 minutes; http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1937/1937%20-%201918.html

For Max III with 22 hp engine it would have taken 13 hr and 45 minutes and burned 36 liters ( 9.5 gallons ) of fuel ( lets assume Max II had 50 liter tanks for the race ). Black Magic had 257 gallon fuel tanks ( for a London Lisbon race it needed to take 170 gallons onboard ).

Next leg from Baghdad to Allahabad is 2300 miles. http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2007/10/20/2064985.htm
This is where mr and mrs Mollisons trip with Black Magic ended and another DH Comet Grosvenor House took the lead.
This leg would have taken 12 hr and 25 min for MAX III to complete with 8.6 gallons of fuel ( 32.9 liters ).

From Allahabad to Singapore the distance is 221o miles ( 3555 km ). 12 hours flying for MAX III with 8.3 gallons fuel burned.

Singapore to Darwin is only 2084 miles ( 3353 km ). After 11 hr 15 min flight MAX III would have arrived in Darwin ( fuel burned 7.8 gallons ).

Next leg being only 1389 miles Darwin to Charleville crew chief of MAX III decides to use nitrous enhanced fuel increasing speed to 220 mph and fuel burn to maximum 50 liters for this leg. This pays off; Max arrives after 6 hr 18 min flight.

After the change of engine ( to a 50 hp ) the last trip is taken from Charleville to Melbourne ( 850 miles ) at incredible speed of 240 mph ( slight tailwind ) using all 50 liters again. This takes only 2 hr 32 minutes for MAX III to travel.

After 58 hours 5 minutes of flying and 4 stops of 2 hours ( cleaning and eating + refuelling + engine change + 1 hour nap ) and one good sleep in a hotel in Singapore ( 4 hours and all fuelling included ).

Max III would have arrived in 70 hr and 5 minutes in Melbourne beating Grosvenor House by just 55 minutes.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. I understand. It was very hastily written...and flying 2530 miles with a small plane like MAX III would be an ordeal for sure.

  3. I can add here that if flown from Mildenhall at 90 mph the plane would have used 125 hr 30 minutes flying to Melbourne.

    It would have burned 182 liters of fuel ( 47.9 gallons ).